Hey everyone! First post here in the forums.
I am looking for some general advice for somebody in my situation with my goals. Currently I am 22 years old and recently graduated with my business degree and luckily no student debt. I have around 25k in the bank, and my car is paid off so I am in pretty good shape. However I live in a super expensive area (currently San Diego) and will soon be moving to an even more expensive area (Santa Cruz). I am moving to pursue my dream job of doing marketing for a new brewery, so avoiding the move isn't going to happen.
My goals involving real estate are to obviously become a rental property owner and be producing passive income long term. In the short term though I am torn. I think realistically I do not want to pursue an out of area deal, and because rent is so high ideally find an off-market deal in Santa Cruz that would allow me to house-hack. Ultimately I will need at least 50-60k for a down payment in my area, my current dilemma is whether to invest this money I already have into index funds while I continue saving towards that goal, or is it impractical to have all the money tied up in the case that a real estate investment opportunity came up?
If you house hack, you could invest the money you are not paying for a home to live in.
If you are doing RE, do RE. If you want to invest in the market, invest in the market. Your area may not permit you to do both.
If you don't purchase, you will be paying off someone else's mortgage.